Characterizing Phospholipase A 2-Induced Spinal Cord Injury-A Comparison with Contusive Spinal Cord Injury in Adult Rats

Nai Kui Liu, William Lee Titsworth, Yi Ping Zhang, Aurela I. Xhafa, Christopher B. Shields, Xiao Ming Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To assess whether phospholipase A 2 (PLA 2) plays a role in the pathogenesis of spinal cord injury (SCI), we compared lesions either induced by PLA 2 alone or by a contusive SCI. At 24-h post-injury, both methods induced a focal hemorrhagic pathology. The PLA 2 injury was mainly confined within the ventrolateral white matter, whereas the contusion injury widely affected both the gray and white matter. A prominent difference between the two models was that PLA 2 induced a massive demyelination with axons remaining in the lesion area, whereas the contusion injury induced axonal damage and myelin breakdown. At 4 weeks, no cavitation was found within the PLA 2 lesion, and numerous axons were myelinated by host-migrated Schwann cells. Among them, 45% of animals had early transcranial magnetic motor-evoked potential (tcMMEP) responses. In contrast, the contusive SCI induced a typical centralized cavity with reactive astrocytes forming a glial border. Only 15% of rats had early tcMMEP responses after the contusion. BBB scores were similarly reduced in both models. Our study indicates that PLA 2 may play a unique role in mediating secondary SCI likely by targeting glial cells, particularly those of oligodendrocytes. This lesion model could also be used for studying demyelination and remyelination in the injured spinal cord associated with PLA 2-mediated secondary SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-618
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Stroke Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Axonal degeneration
  • Demyelination
  • Phospholipase A
  • Schwann cells
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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